Green is go; red is delicious

The menu will feature tiger shrimp, cod cheeks and hake, all of which were carefully chosen to represent sustainable fisheries that are labeled as seafoods to avoid.

I am all for chefs and consumers making informed decisions about what they buy and eat or serve. And that includes those daring enough to reach beyond the greenwashing and ask why.

The average consumer will see Monterey Bay Aquarium’s red (avoid) list and refuse to eat what’s on it without questioning the methodology that landed the fishery on the list. Can we blame them? The list is put out by a well-respected aquarium.

But what they, and many activists, fail to understand is that buying Northeast cod will not empty the oceans of cod. U.S. fishery management does not respond to demand; it responds to biomass (ideally).

A fixed amount of cod enters the marketplace every year. The result of buying and eating cod is that the limited supply will simply be more valuable. What happens then? The fishermen who fish for it might actually be able to make their boat payments with their quota! Is that so harrowing a prospect?

So if you can’t be at the Legal Sea Foods blacklisted dinner, I encourage you to pick a red- or blacklisted U.S. fishery to dine on the evening of Jan. 24. And join me in a toast to the future of wild American seafood.

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